Law and (dis) Order

Posted on December 8, 2005

Okay, 21 minutes into Law & Order tonight, and we as the audience are to understand that 1) [some] Jews stiff their creditors and claim no work was done; 2) a NY Jew can be identified by listening to him speak for less than a minute; 3) Jews will risk life and limb, running through traffic, to gather torn pages from a chumash; 4) Jews are highly emotional and threaten to “raise hell” if immediate action isn’t taken against a possible anti-Semitic action, and 5) to many Jews, money is more important than religion or even human life.


I think – or at least I hope – we’re smarter than that. Aren’t we?

Add to that the fact that the show is randomly interchanging the words “Torah,” “chumash,” (a bound, machine press copy of the Torah, not a Torah scroll itself), and “prayer book” (a prayer book, in Hebrew, would be a siddur, not a Torah or a chumash).

My big problem with assertions 1-5 is that they’re stereotypical to the point of being offensive, especially the way they were presented in the show.

So far, the Jewish community portrayed in the show is either on the defensive (with multiple references to the Shoah [Holocaust]), or on the offensive (does desecration of a holy text pardon murder)?

I’m tempted to turn the show off, but keep hoping somehow something can be salvaged.

I’m not holding my breath.


  1. Sheyna

    It ended about as badly as it began: one guy (Jewish) hires another guy (not Jewish) to tear up his (the Jewish guy’s) cousin’s copy of the Hebrew Bible so that first guy can make money by selling land on which synagogue is built. Cousin (owner of said vandalized Bible) finds vandal and kills him. Both go to jail.

    Possible morals: 1)Thou shalt not murder; 2)Thou shalt not enlist thy cousin to do thy dirty work – use your brother instead; it worked for Cain; 3)Thou shalt not worship money over books; 4)Thou shalt not expect realistic portrayals of often-stereotyped groups on the L&O franchise.

    Ah well…

  2. RedWritingHood

    I watched it as well. I am not Jewish.. but I figured they were portraying this particular group of Jewish people the same way they would portray a Christian group or an Islamic group on a dramatic television show: full of archetypes and stereotypes. “Hey these people are _Religious_ let’s brainstorm “Jewish” (or “Christian”) and put all the words in the show… LOL

  3. Penelope Ella Susan

    Yes, we’re smarter than that. How’d it turn out?

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